From Admissions, at Lincoln Center. Photo: Jeremy Daniel The world’s most fashionable astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, recently tweeted, “Creativity that satisfies & affirms your world view is Entertainment. Creativity that challenges & disrupts your world view is Art.” Despite a fair number of comments that point out how (a) simplistic, (b) clichéd, and (c) generally silly this sentiment is, at the moment of my writing it’s garnered almost 65,000 likes and over 21,000 retweets. Clearly, we like the idea that Art Is Hard, that to earn its exalted status it should unsettle and disturb us. But what about creative endeavors that disturb not in an astonishing, productively destabilizing way, but through their misguidedness? What about works of art — or entertainment, since good theater, whatever Tyson might have to say, is always both — that are straining to engage with something complex and difficult and, however well-intentioned, ultimately end up trading in muddle-headed, troubling rhetoric? Such a piece of theater is Joshua Harmon’s Admissions, now at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater under the sharp direction of Daniel Aukin. When the alien historians look back at plays made by Homo sapiens americanus circa 2018, they’ll find a lot like Admissions…. Read full this story
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